Friday, October 1, 2010

Sydney Theatres past and present

I was born and bred in Sydney and sometimes I'll even admit it. One of the side effects of this affliction is, that to me, a real city is a city that is constantly destroying and rebuilding its streets. In my opinion, if a city is not a building site, it is not a real city.

Today I took some photos of the sites of two of Sydney's most famous theatres, Her Majestys and The Criterion.

Her Majestys Theatre was built in 1887 on the eastern side of Pitt Street on the corner of Market Street. This was Her Majesty's in the early years.

And this is the building site it is today.

Her Majesty's closed in 1933 with a performance of Maid in the Mountains, starring Gladys Moncrieff. A Woolworths store opened on the site, but it is probably best known as the former site of Centrepoint.

More on Her Majestys is here

The next demolished theatre I looked at was the Criterion. The Criterion was built in 1886 and lived on the corner of Pitt and Park Streets Sydney.

Below is the Criterion Theatre at the height of its glory.

The Criterion was demolished in 1935 so that Park Street could be widened. Basically they demolished the theatre and kept the pub! Here is the pub as it appeared today.

You can read more about the 'Cri' here

There's a nice document from 1993 which has a list of Sydney's old theatres and their locations. It was done by the Masonic Historical Society of NSW and a copy is held at the Royal Australian Historical Society in Sydney.

By the way, why was Queen Victoria wearing such colourful clothes today? I think the council workers were trying to undress her. Scandal!


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